W Rly’s various innovative works made strong mark at prestigious Rail Good Work Portal


Western Railway has once again added another few feathers to its cap, wherein  three best good works has made their strong entry to the list of 15 such Good Works identified by Railway Board during the period from 1st Jan, 2020 to 31st May, 2020. Alok Kansal – General Manager of Western Rly has expressed his immense pleasure on this achievement and has congratulated the concerned Department Heads and their dedicated teams for this marvellous & commendable accomplishment.

According to a press release issued by WR CPRO Sumit Thakur, three of the works initiated by W. Rly for Operations Improvement have been identified by Railway Board in the category of Asset Management & Maintenance. A total of 248 entries were received from 11 Zonal Railways during the period from 1st Jan, 2020 to 31st May, 2020. Out of these 248 entries, 15 Good Work practices have been identified for initial mass scale implementation across Railway units wherever applicable.

It is also worth mentioning that W. Rly is in the second position in the table for the most numbers of innovative works (3 nos.) which have been identified & selected by Rly Board. The details of the selected Good Works of W. Rly are:

1) Highlighting design defect in M/s Schunk make High Rise Pantograph on Electric Locomotives during Current Collection test

The issue of poor current collection at speed above 80 kmph was a cause of serious concern in high rise OHE sections and CRS had granted sanction subject to speed restriction of 80 kmph due to this issue. Heavy sparks were observed during current collection in Knee Leading direction (Panto of rear cab raised) which is dangerous to OHE and Pantograph. This imposed speed restrictions making operation of electric traction unwelcome due to defective design of M/s Schunk Make Panto. It was necessary to lead a review in design of high rise panto.

The team of WR & RDSO took up the challenge and did extensive trials in high-rise OHE sections. OHE adjustments were done meticulously to weed out doubts about OHE adjustments. Thereafter, the trials for the Pantographs were taken up. It was decided to conduct trials with wrong panto i.e knee trailing in same section for comparison and to confirm whether defect is in OHE design or pantograph design.

 In the case of knee leading, there is net aerodynamic down thrust resulting in reduced contact force due to wind tunnel effect while moving at speed above 80 kmph and the phenomenon reverses when the knee of the pantograph is trailing resulting in net aerodynamic up thrust.

The results firmly established that the poor current collection has been on account of design deficiencies in pantograph of Schunk make and there is no major defect in high-rise OHE attributing to unsatisfactory panto-OHE interaction. The findings of the trials have been furnished to RDSO and M/s Schunk for taking further necessary action to address this design defect in high rise pantographs.

It is worth mentioning herewith that Western Railway has proudly become the first Railway to run Double Stack Container train with High reach Pantograph in High Rise OHE territory, the operations of which successfully commenced on 10th June, 2020 from Palanpur & Botad stations in Gujarat.

This groundbreaking milestone is not only a first amongst all Zonal Railways in India but is also a first of its kind in the entire world.

2) Modification in the position of Flasher Light Hood in MEMU trains

Flasher light is one of the important safety equipment fitted in front of DMC and is used by motorman in case of emergency to alert motorman of train passing from opposite direction. Thus non-working of flasher light causes detention of MEMU rake.

During monsoon season there were instances of flasher light failure due to the ingress of moisture in flasher light hood as flasher light hood was fitted outside in front of DMC and rainwater was directly getting inside the hood causing non-working of flasher light.

Hence, after detailed analysis and in-depth study of failures and design aspect of flasher light hood and its location, modification was done to avoid the collection of moisture in flasher light hood and protect it from direct rainwater. Flasher light hood was shifted inside DMC which was previously fitted outside in front of DMC. After the modification, there are NIL instances of flasher light failure due to moisture.

Thus by the implementation of this simple yet thoughtful modification, reliability of MEMU trains has increased and an effective solution has been achieved to counter flasher light failure due to ingress of moisture.

3) Replacement of Lead Acid Batteries with VRLA type of Batteries in MEMU DMCs

MEMU DMCs were provided with the conventional Lead-Acid type of battery bank which was characterised by some drawbacks such as frequent top-up, less battery life, and chances of leakage. Thus as a part of system improvement and as a part of constant effort to improve efficiency, reliability and reduce cost, it was decided to replace Lead Acid batteries whose life was near condemnation with VRLA type Batteries.

VRLA type batteries have apparent advantages over conventional batteries like less maintenance, better life cycle, less prone to failures and reduction in man-power cost and hence the existing Lead-acid battery banks fitted in MEMU DMCs are being replaced in a phased manner and as on date 15 no. of DMCs have been fitted with VRLA type batteries.

Accordingly, the Battery trolley accommodating the lead-acid battery was also modified as per the size of VRLA batteries. All the above modification work was done completely in-house without any extra expenditure.

Due to the replacement of battery banks with VRLA type of batteries, there is saving in the form of maintenance manpower as VRLA type batteries do not require any top-ups. Also, there are benefits like reduction in failure, more life, and improved reliability.

Thakur stated that the purpose of Rail Good Work Portal, an initiative of Transformation Cell of Railway Board is to provide an on-line platform to all Zones, Divisions, Production Units, RDSO and CTIs wherein they can freely share the good works being done by them. This would encourage easy and fast adoption and emulation of these good works across Indian Railways.


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